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Module by: Marathon Montrose Ramsey. E-mail the author

Summary: The Spanish preposition para and its uses

Para expresses the use, purpose or destination for which anything is adapted or intended:

Example 1

Esta carta es para el correo de la tarde. This letter is for the evening mail.

Example 2

Estos paquetes son para Sud América. These packages are for South America.

Example 3

Mañana parto para Boston. I start for Boston to-morrow.

Example 4

Aquel buque tiene destino para Nueva Zelanda. That vessel is bound for New Zealand.

Example 5

Estudiar para médico, para abogado. To study to be a doctor, a lawyer.

Example 6

He comprado un estante para mis libros. I have bought a book-case for my books.

Example 7

Ésta es buena tela para sábanas. This is good cloth for sheets.

Example 8

Un excelente coche para caminos rurales. An excellent carriage for country roads.

Example 9

Aquellos hombres son demasiado chicos para granaderos, pero servirán para la artillería. Those men are too small for grenadiers, but they will do for the artillery.

Example 10

¿Para dónde parte Vd.? For what destination do you set out?

Example 11

Este regalo no es para tí sino para tu hermana. This present is not for you, but for your sister.

Example 12

He comprado un traje para el baile del viernes próximo. I have bought a suit for next Friday evening's ball.

Example 13

Le dí treinta pesos para ropa y diez para alfileres. I gave her $30 for clothes and $10 for pin-money.

In this manner para, by indicating special use of something, helps to form a multitude of compound expressions which in English are made by placing two words together without any intervening particle:

Example 14

Jaulas para pájaros. Bird-cages.

Example 15

Un estante para libros. A book-case.

Example 16

Aceite para el pelo. Hair-oil.

Example 17

Pinzas para agujas. Needle-forceps.

Example 18

Una aguja para máquina de coser. A sewing-machine needle.

With the same value of purpose or destination, para followed by an infinitive may be rendered by "to" or "in order to":

Example 19

Yo estudio para instruir á otros. I study in order to teach others.

Example 20

Será preciso tener paciencia para alcanzar nuestro objeto. It will be necessary to have patience in order to obtain our object.

Example 21

Quiero algo para leer. I want something to read.

Example 22

Necesito mi pluma ahora para escribir una carta. I need my pen now to write a letter.

Example 23

Busco mi sombrero para ir al mercado. I am looking for my hat so as to go to market.

Followed by an infinitive governed by the verb estar, para indicates the proximity of an action or occurrence:

Example 24

El viento está para cambiar. The wind is about to change.

Example 25

Está para llover. It is going to rain.

Example 26

Estamos para ir al teatro. We are just going to the theater.

Example 27

Estuve para ir á su casa, cuando entró. I was on the point of going to his house, when in he came.

Designates a point or a farthest limit of future time:

Example 28

Lo difícil dejaremos para mañana. We will leave the difficult part for tomorrow.

Example 29

Tengo una cita para el jueves por la tarde. I have an engagement for Thursday evening.

Example 30

Se lo pagaré á V. para el quince del mes que viene. I will pay you it by the fifteenth of next month.

Example 31

La sesión fué postergada para la semana próxima. The session was postponed until the next week.

Example 32

Para el sábado estarán hechos. They will be done by Saturday.

Expresses a comparison of inequality, one member of the comparison being different from what the other would lead us to expect:

Example 33

Para un joven escribe muy bien. For a young man he writes very well.

Example 34

Le alaban poco para lo que merece. They praised him little compared with what he deserves.

Example 35

Para la latitud elevada de Óregon, es muy suave el clima. Considering the high latitude of Oregon, the climate is very mild.

Example 36

Entonces tenía poco que confesar para lo que después tuve. I had then little to confess compared with what I afterwards had.

Example 37

Para ser principante no lo ha hecho V. mal. You did not do it badly for a beginner.

Example 38

Habla muy corrientemente para ser extranjero. He speaks very fluently for a foreigner.

Example 39

Esto no es nada para lo que viene. This is nothing to what is coming.

This is a rare use of para to imply that something not generally or universally true, is true of, or applicable to, the particular person or thing named:

Example 40

Las mujeres, llevadas del nuevo, y para ellas nunca visto traje, rodearon á la mora. The women, carried away by the new and to them strange (never seen) costume, surrounded the Moorish girl.

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